Having not won a World Series since 1908, and having last appeared on that stage in 1945—a war year in which the professional leagues were still populated by has-beens and freaks—the Chicago Cubs must contemplate the only solution that might restore the team to glory: Tear down Wrigley Field.
Destroy it. Annihilate it. Collapse it with the sort of charges that put the Sands Hotel out of its misery in Vegas. Implosion or explosion, get rid of it. That pile of quaintness has to go. Not merely the structure, but the ground on which it stands.
I'm a Roman, and to me, the expanse between Waveland and Addison on Chicago's North Side is Carthage. The struts and concessions, the catwalk where the late broadcaster Harry Caray once greeted me with all the fluid liquidity of an animatronic Disneyland pirate—Hello, Cubs fan!—the ramps that ascend like a ziggurat to heaven—it's a false heaven—the bases, trestles, ivy, wooden seats and bleachers, the towering center-field scoreboard—all of it must be ripped out and carried away like the holy artifacts were carried out of the temple in Jerusalem, heaped in a pile and burned. Then the ground itself must be salted, made barren, covered with a housing project, say, a Stalinist monolith, so never again will a shrine arise on that haunted block. As it was with Moses, the followers and fans, though they search, shall never find its bones.